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Day 1 FinCap Week – Elona shares her money story at Westminster

 

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18-year-old care leaver and MyBnk Ambassador Elona has helped launch Financial Capability Week in Westminster by sharing her story of how MyBnk helped her take control of her life.

MyBnk and supporters of money skills for young people gathered at the Money Advice Service (MAS) event to hear the latest on our collective mission to help Britain master personal finance.

Suella Fernandes MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People, also revealed worrying headline statistics from MAS’ new study. See our response, here. MAS Children & Young Person Lead Kirsty Bowman-Vaughn also revealed how the government body is helping teachers by evaluating providers.

 

secondHowever, Elona stole the show, telling guests of her experience on our lead intervention programme, Money Works at Havering Leaving Care:

“Financial education has helped me take control of my life.

I am 18, go to college in North London and I am in the Leaving Care System. I face the same kinds of challenges of people my age, some more so than others. I recently started living independently for the first time. I was 17 when I had my first money lesson.

I was always good at Maths, but there was little opportunity in life, at home or school to manage money or understand its value. Money to me was ‘out there’, no worries, someone is paying for things.

Tax, debt, insurance, borrowing safely. These were very unreal things.

 

Reality

Suddenly, it became very real. I and my friends had to face reality, sooner maybe for me than others. It crept up on me that I would have to make choices, live with those choices and manage my own money to survive.

The workshops I had with the charity MyBnk, helped me prepare for the real world. They made it fun. Finance, fun?! The style, trainers and games made things like budgeting more accessible. I want to go to university, but didn’t know what support there was. I wanted to save, but couldn’t work out the banking terms. MyBnk showed me how. It made sense now, I could do this!

 

Impact

Financial education taught me how to budget, so there is food in the fridge, how to find the best energy bill, so I can keep the lights on, the difference between my needs and wants, so I no longer spend £50 a month on clothes and start to save. Now I feel more confident and I can protect from myself from debt. I am more capable.

But, I was lucky, MyBnk were there at the right place at the right time to help me. All young people should have the opportunity to have good financial education so they can take control of their money and make good decisions.

 

My one piece of advice…

The experience has inspired me to volunteer with their charity and help other young people like me. I have joined MyBnk’s Youth Advisory Panel who help make sure their projects work.

The one piece of advice I can give to people who want to help is, listen to the voices of young people. Understand their needs, create solutions with us to make it better. Adults sometimes think they know what is best, but we know more than you think!

Back what works, then, build it with us.

If you would like us to bring our workshops to your young people, contact info@mybnk.org or if you are interested in supporting our mission, contact nicola@mybnk.org for more information.

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